The process of moving into a college dorm room can be tiring and stressful. Maybe you’re taking the big leap and starting your first semester. Or maybe you’re getting ready to enter your senior year. Either way, moving in is no easy task at any point during your college experience. On top of that, you might become financially stressed, like most students—primarily due to the expensive tuition fees you’re working to pay off.
Another source of financial anxiety can come from moving into a dorm, as there are lots of expenses that can be associated with moving. When all is said and done, getting to finally sit back and get ready for the semester is incredibly rewarding. However, it can also be difficult to relax with financial troubles looming over. In order to help make the moving process quick, easy, and as low-cost as possible, consider utilizing these tips to help you save money during your dorm room move-in and avoid overspending.
We’ve all been there: you’ve been driving to your campus for several hours, and when you finally get to your dorm, you realize that you’re missing three of your favorite shirts and some of your go-to desk supplies! Forgetting your belongings is certainly stressful, but when you need to run to the store to make some emergency purchases, it can also seriously hurt your bank account.
Instead of waiting until the last minute to pack, consider getting into the mindset of preparing yourself for your move well in advance of move-in day. By doing this, you can significantly decrease the odds of forgetting something. Start by keeping a checklist of everything you’ll need and begin packing a few weeks prior to your move. If you find you need to buy a few things before you leave for college, you won’t need to rush to make a purchase, and you can instead take your time and find the best deals.
Unfortunately, even if you prepare in advance, emergencies can happen on move-in day. Important items can get lost or forgotten, and anything from broken glass to a coffee spill can mess up your move-in day and require a quick and expensive fix. Being prepared for these types of emergencies can help you avoid needing to reach into your savings for the semester!
Prepare yourself for these situations by creating an emergency fund. If this is your first time creating an emergency fund, consider signing up for an online bank with automatic savings features. This can help you save money quickly without even needing to contribute to it manually. That way, you'll have it ready for any move-in day emergencies. If you’re lucky and don’t have any financial emergencies, you can keep it around for use later in the semester or use the extra cash to help pay for textbooks and class supplies. After all, it’s better to have an emergency fund that you’ll never need to use than needing the money that you don’t have!
Everyone wants to be the person on campus with the coolest dorm room. Many students look into buying awesome things to make their dorm look cool, like color lights and wall art. Buying some storage for your dorm can also be a great way to keep your dorm looking neat and organized. One drawback, however, is that dorm decor can also cost way more than you’re willing to budget for.
Thankfully, there are ways to avoid needing to buy pricey decorations for your room. If you’re a crafty person, there are many options out there for DIY dorm decor. One of the benefits of making your own dorm room decor is cost, as when you make your own decor, the only expenses you will need to worry about will be the cost of materials. These raw materials usually cost far less than a premade decoration as well. Once you’ve got all of your materials together, look online for some DIY dorm decoration ideas, or check out this list we found here!
Your RA is there to help make the transition to college as easy as possible for you. On top of that, they are students just like you, so they understand the struggle of moving in and maintaining a budget throughout the semester! Because of that, most RAs will have helpful tips on how to save money while moving in, as well as provide you with assistance on move-in day.
Most colleges will give you the contact information of your RA well before you move in, or it will be available for you after you’ve gotten your dorm placement. Don’t be afraid to message them and ask them for advice on how to make the transition to your dorm as simple, and as cost-effective as possible. They’re going to love helping out, and it never hurts to get to know your RA before you get to campus!
One of the biggest expenses that can come from moving into a dorm between semesters is transportation costs. Depending on how far you are from your dorm, you may need to spend hundreds of dollars on shipping your items to your dorm, rent a moving truck, or make multiple trips in your car. Not to mention that having more items weighing on your vehicle can drastically reduce gas mileage, causing you to spend more than necessary on gas.
However, by making good use of a self-storage facility, you can mitigate the need to transport your belongings long distances. Instead, you can keep all of the items from your dorm nearby in a storage unit over the summer, and then pick it up when it’s time to move in. By doing this, you not only ensure the safety of the items you’re keeping in self-storage, but you can also reduce the amount of money you spend on your move.
By: Lee Preston
Lee is the Director of Marketing and Promotion for EZstorit.com. When she is not dealing with storage facilities partners, she is writing about topics that affect our daily lives.